Eye schoolchildren create their own version of poppy war memorial at the Tower of London

Sgt Duncan Slater plants the 100th poppy at the memorial in the grounds of Hartismere School.

Sgt Duncan Slater plants the 100th poppy at the memorial in the grounds of Hartismere School. - Credit: Dominic Bareham

Schoolchildren created their own version of the famous poppy war memorial at the Tower of London and welcomed a double amputee war hero for a silence to mark the anniversary of the first world war armistice.

Pupils at Hartismere School in Eye created 100 poppies which they planted next to a stag in the school's grounds to honour past and present armed forces personnel and they were joined on Tuesday by RAF serviceman Sgt Duncan Slater, from Scole, who lost both his legs after being blown up by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

After giving a talk to the children in assembly, Sgt Slater joined them to plant the final, 100th, poppy next to the stag before observing the silence and thanked the children for their efforts.

He said: 'I just want to say a massive thank you. Remembrance Day when I was your age was all about the servicemen of world war one and world war two.

'I think about the six mates I lost before I got injured and it is not just about wars that happened 100 years ago, but conflicts that are still going on involving our service personnel. All of the money that you have raised will help people who need help.'

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The poppies, which range in shape and size, were set to remain in place until Friday when they will be sold to raise money for the armed forces charities Walking with the Wounded and the Royal British Legion.

Ruth Stanley, an art technician at the school, said the school had been inspired by the Tower of London memorial, entitled Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, which was created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins and features 888,246 poppies- one for each British and Commonwealth soldier killed during world war one.

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She added the children created the poppies over three lunchtimes.

What did you do to remember the soldiers? Email dominic.bareham@archant.co.uk.

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